Hump Day: Easter is a time for long church services and lots of candy!

Hump Day
BHump Day 2 croppedy Brian Cormier
Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Moncton Times & Transcript

Easter is this weekend and from what I’m hearing, you’d think it was Christmas all over again. What’s with all the gift-giving? I suppose there’s nothing wrong with that – a new toy or spring clothing are healthier than a belly full of chocolate, I guess.

When I was a kid, Easter meant church (with its obligatory complaining about having to go in the first place) and lots of candy complete with baskets, a chocolate bunny and various other sugary treats. There were also the snow storms, depending on how early Easter was – and one particularly memorable trip to my grandparents’ place on P.E.I. when the snow was so deep that we couldn’t even get up the lane to their house. Whatever possessed us to go to P.E.I. during a blizzard, I’ll never know.

Going to church on P.E.I. when we visited my grandparents was required. I’m sure my grandmother figured out we weren’t exactly regular churchgoers when I blurted out one day, “But Mom, we never go to church when we’re home!” By the look on my mother’s face, I understood instantly that this was top-secret ‍Cormier family intelligence not to be shared with anyone, especially my religious grandmother. And by the look on my grandmother’s face, it was like telling her we were all godless vampires who burst into flames every time we saw a crucifix. We weren’t, of course, but we might as well have been.

easter church familyI had a conversation with my mother and aunt over the weekend about how church services were so long at Easter. And of course, the conversation went something like, “When we were kids, the priest read the Bible from start to finish every Sunday in church – twice at Easter!” I also found out that my grandfather was always ‘ill’ on Good Friday and could never go to church. Eventually, everyone figured out that he was just avoiding a very long mass. I’m not sure if there’s such a thing as the Good Friday Flu, but my grandfather had it every year.

At Halloween, kids gorge themselves on candy before bed. There’s nothing like going to bed all hyped up on sugar and then having to go to school the next morning with chocolate under your fingernails and teeth as soft as marshmallows from all those treats.

Easter, however, is morning gorging time. I know our treats were hidden – usually under the kitchen table or behind a sofa. I don’t remember having any Easter egg hunts. Just give me the goodies and we’re good to go! No need to get too imaginative and make us work for it. I think my parents were quite happy not to go through so much work. We were easy children to please.

These days, parents go through so much trouble. They do the Easter egg hunts, the treasure hunts, etc. They spend weeks thinking up hiding places and then watch their children go out of their little minds trying to find what is rightfully theirs – candy! All we had to do was look under the kitchen table or behind a sofa. If my parents were extra ambitious, maybe we had to break a sweat opening a closet door.

Perhaps the Easter bunny was exhausted and not terribly imaginative by the time he got to our house. When we were teenagers – but still getting Easter treats – the conversation went more or less like this just before bed on the Saturday night before Easter Sunday: “Yeah, just leave the loot on the kitchen table and I’ll get it tomorrow. Good night.” Then we’d all hug and sob as a family just like they did on The Waltons. OK, maybe not.

My family still gets together for a meal at Easter. My mother and her husband go all out – like they do every holiday. It’s always delicious. I usually bring some weird dessert no one likes – and then I swear I’ll never do it again. And then the next year I show up with dingleberry mousse made with Mongolian yak’s milk. No one eats it. I get mad – and then do it again the year after. “Anyone want a nice slice of kale and dandelion mustard pie? Yummy!” I really need to stop watching the Food Network.

Whether you celebrate Easter worshiping in church or scraping your sugar-laden kids off the walls, it’s important to realize that this is a season for renewal. Spring is here. Hope is here. Speaking of hope, I hope someone eats my weird dessert this year or I’m dragging everyone to church on Easter Sunday to hear the Bible being read out loud from cover to cover – twice.

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